AT El Camino College

Supporting your CS education and career journey

The CS Learning Community at El Camino aims to build a supportive, focused environment that will help first- and second-year students stay on track with their studies and prepare to apply for competitive internships. Participants are eligible for a need-based scholarship of up to $10K.

What to expect as a freshman

In their first year, CS Learning Community (CSLC) students participate in three primary activities:

  • Study groups of 4-5 students meet 3 times per week to work on assignments, hold each other accountable, and practice good study habits.
  • All LC students meet during a monthly enrichment workshop for additional support in building strong study habits and strategies for success.
  • LC students spend about 2 hours per week on an online Canvas course that supports the other two activities.    

What to expect as a sophomore

Second year CSLC students transition their focus to preparing for landing a internship. They can expect to: 

  • Spend 5-6 hours per week making progress on the CTI Accelerate course, including interview problem solving practice and Python proficiency development.
  • Participating in micro-internships, connecting with industry mentors, and getting guidance on resume/LinkedIn profile development, networking, and how to apply for internships. 
  • Completing mock and real interviews with tech companies.
  • Continuing to study with small groups of 4-5 students 1-2 times per week. 

Internships and Summer Work Experience

The first two years of CSLC helps prepare students to be competitive for summer internships. Students who are actively engaged in and complete CTI Accelerate on schedule typically land:

  • A traditional tech internship with a technology company.
  • A Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at a research lab at a US university.
  • A spot in CTI’s open-source internship and/or apprenticeship program, working with an industry mentor and a small team on an open-source project for 8 weeks in the summer.

Important Information

Benefits and Student Expectations
If you become part of the CS Learning Community program, you…

Commit to: Benefit from:
  • Be a CS major and maintain a GPA of 2.5
  • Participate in 6 hours of Deep Work sessions (small study groups) per week
  • Register yourself for courses following a recommended course pathway
  • Attend an enrichment workshop one Saturday each month
  • Make consistent progress in CTI Accelerate (self-paced learning modules to support your internship preparation)
  • $2,000 need-based scholarship each semester for 2 years
  • Built-in study groups with peers who are on a similar journey
  • Extra guidance on a course pathway that will help you graduate on-time
  • Opportunities to work on projects you can put on your resume
  • Internship preparation and connections to industry opportunities

The CS Learning Community program is open to incoming freshmen and to current first-year students studying CS at El Camino College. Please note that your participation in the CS Learning Community is dependent on your being admitted as a student to ECC. 

Sophomore students are encouraged to apply directly to the CTI Accelerate program.

Prior knowledge of computer science (programming, coding, etc.) is not required

Application/Admissions Process

Freshmen studying computer science at ECC are accepted into the CS Learning Communities two times a year – going to fall semester and going into spring semester of their freshman year. The earlier you can enter the program, the more beneficial it will be.

To apply and enter the program:

  1. Complete the CS Learning Community application form
  2. Attend the semester kick-off session
  3. Complete and sign the CSLC contract, which you will receive at the kick-off session


Because of the increased time commitment and expectation that CS Learning Community students will go above and beyond in their academic pursuits, students accepted into CSLC are eligible for a scholarship. This is a need-based scholarship (available to students who have unmet financial need according to FAFSA) of up to $8K total over 4 semesters. The scholarship is distributed as a maximum of $2K per semester starting the first semester in the program. As long as students maintain good standing with CSLC by meeting the requirements each semester, they remain eligible for this scholarship.

Contact Us
If you are not yet ready to apply, but would like to be added to our contact list, please complete this interest form. This is the best way to get you on our radar so that we can reach out with information about upcoming info sessions, application deadlines, etc.

If you have any questions, please write to dbeltran@elcamino.edu.

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